Early Learning Center

Two children read books outside at the University of Delaware Early Learning Center

About Us

Two students playing with toys on desk at Early Learning Center

Our Philosophy

The University of Delaware Early Learning Center is a collaborative learning environment in which the ELC, university and community work together to provide early learning experiences that support each child, their families as well as future educators. While each classroom varies to reflect the ages of children, their interests and the teaching style of the educator, the ELC philosophy is interwoven throughout the program.

We believe all individuals learn in a culture that promotes:

  • Respect for Self
    Individuals should value their talents and abilities by taking care of their emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health. We demonstrate this belief by supporting emotional development, teaching appropriate conflict resolution and creating opportunities for individual reflection. We invite participation in family engagement events sharing their cultures with the ELC community. For our future educators, we offer our space as a practicum site and safe space to grow their skills for future use.
  • Respect for Others
    Respect for others is accepting that there are differences in beliefs, cultures and values. This involves keeping an open mind and actively listening to each others perspectives without judgment, bias or assumptions. We invite children and their families to share in classroom specific and center wide events their family beliefs and traditions in order to build a safe community of acceptance.
  • Respect for the Environment
    We have a community approach to respecting our environment. We seek to create sustainable, safe and secure centers where teachers, children and families work together. We provide routines, order and calm to our day by taking responsibility for our shared and individual spaces and resources.
Three children sitting on floor of Early Learning Center

Our Mission & Vision

The mission of the Early Learning Center is to provide a model of quality early care and education services for children and their families which supports the academic and research programs of the University. Throughout the year, children may participate in University-approved research projects to enhance early development.

Our vision is to lay the foundation for exceptional practice for future leaders in the field of early childhood education in partnership with families, the university community and professionals locally and globally, and most importantly for our children.

Would you like to learn more about the ELC? We are currently offering virtual tours.